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Government Intrusion such as AMBER ALERT Rant

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by jack58, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. jack58

    jack58 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Government more and more is getting intrusive in our cell phones. AMBER ALERT is one of them. Also recently it made the news here in Tacoma, WA when the Police were snooping in peoples emails to find crooks. Home security, NSA and our Armed forces are doing it too. Google the news.
    This is a good example:
    Cellphone data spying: It's not just the NSA

    I got this blaring, Screeching alarm yesterday on my cell phone. Thought something bad happen. Nope, it was a Amber Alert. There should have been some pre-warning they were going to do this Amber Alert via email beforehand as it takes over your phone with the loud blaring emergency alarm instead of the usual tone settings you have on your phone. I would like to opt IN on my phone if I choose, not have POTUS decide what my phone should do at any given time. My wife was in a meeting at the bank when everyone's phone went off. That is disruption! Besides, why should everyone should stop a meeting to check their parking lot, and some who would actually go driving around a large metropolis looking for the kid, vigilante style? This is the police job, not ours!

    The other 3 emergency Alerts I can understand, I'd want to be warned of a terrorist attract or impending earthquake or flood too. But C'mon, a missing kid is not a major event.

    As for the Amber Alert, I have never once saw on the news where a child actually got kidnapped. Half of these alerts are because a kid wandered off and got lost, and the other half come from divorced parents who are using their children as court leverage. The flashing alerts on the freeways and on the news is enough. Let the police handle it. So waking me up at 3 am in the morning with a blaring alarm for a missing child in WA, well I'm sorry but that does not do either party any good. How does this call for a blaring emergency??? Earthquake, YES! Flood, YES!, Terrorist in area, YES! Missing kid, NO! The Amber Alerts on the flashing signs on freeways and on TV is plenty enough!!!

    Besides, I normally have my phone on vibrate and that loud alert scared the beegeezus out of me. No need for the blaring, screeching alarm for a missing kid!!!

    This happened yesterday and there was a whole bunch of accidents on the Freeways that was blamed on the rain... check Tacoma's news for 9-25-14. I wonder if it was more like this scenario below:

    A kid goes missing and the Amber alert goes off on thousands of phones during rush hour. 50 drivers are terrified by the alarm noise and drive into a ditch. Another 100 drivers read the text message and drive into the car in front of them, and the kid's still missing.

    Bottom line is we should have been forewarned that this was not going to happen, not just out of the blue.

    There! Rant over!

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  2. Mikestony

    Mikestony ~30% Carbon Black ±
    VIP Member

    Ok, sorry folks but I had to clean up here:(
    I can understand this can be a touchy subject, but lets take a deep breath and knock-off the disrespectful posting and name calling.
  3. huh

    huh Android Expert

    I'm not going to even go there.....at least not right now...but for now in response...are you kidding me??? We are talking about children who are in imminent danger!!!!! CHILDREN!! there are true sickos out there that abduct and murder children...usually within the first few hours of abduction...Amber alerts have saved hundreds of children's lives...oh and back in 2013 people WERE notified that it would be automatically an alert on cell phones...

    probably not the best thing to rant about....seems pretty cold hearted and extremely self centered ...If you had a loved one in danger ..I think you would change your tune pretty quick

    be careful....karma is a b*tch:)
  4. jack58

    jack58 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    You didn't read my full post or you would be saying what you said.

    First, the Tacoma area was NOT notified in advance about this happening.
    It just happened for the first time two days ago.
    We've seen the Amber Alerts on the freeway billboards and TV all along and that is enough. ;)

    I mentioned things like:
    1. I would like to opt IN on my phone if I choose, not have POTUS decide what my phone should do at any given time.
    2. Which in turn was a shock when my phone started blaring extremely loud when I have it set on vibrate. Same for my wife who was in a bank meeting. Everyone's phone went off. This upset a lot of people.
    3. I work at home and rarely drive the freeways. So I'm not going to see anything.
    4. Majority of the cases are domestic... or runnaways.... by choice.
    5. It is already on the freeway's electronic signs & television news.
    6. AND do you really want your phone suddenly blaring while your driving 70+ miles while on the freeway during rush hour? That was what time my phone went off. I was home.

    There are other reasons, but my Amber Alert is staying OFF!
    Now YOU... can leave yours on... maybe your on the freeway a lot.
  5. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert

    You have to understand that this is probably one of the biggest white whines that I have seen in a while. This 'major inconvenience' is absolutely tiny in the grand scheme of things. Even if the alerts were completely ineffective, the amount of harm or intrusion in your personal life is microscopic.

    And it's not like the government snooping around in your phone(which actually does piss me off). It's just sending out a signal to all devices that are connected to a tower. No different than the alerts on the radio or TV, except you can chose to opt out on your phone.


    Problem solved.
    MLSS likes this.
  6. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    Let me say that I find the klaxon-like alerts incredibly annoying, too. But, I understand why they are on by default. Think of it this way ... there are really only two options for default, on or off. If the default was off, there would need to be an educational campaign to the cell phone users to turn it on, or the alerts go unheard. Most people would ignore the instruction or not turn it on. By enabling it, as annoying as it is, it does bring a good bit of visibility to the issue. When the alert sounds you get those who accept it and note the details. Or, you get those who find it annoying and try to turn it off, much like a car alarm in the neighborhood that was accidentally tripped.

    And don't forget that anyone who makes an argument to keep it off by default is met with angry villagers wielding torches and pitchforks crying "but think of the children!" If you want to really help the children, then stop teaching them that every problem can be solved by throwing money at it and only those in uniform can be trusted. (sorry, mini-rant)

    I did a little research last night (while Washington was playing catch with NY :rolleyes:) and what I found was interesting. According to the govt. website There have been 685 successful recoveries of children that triggered amber alerts. What they don't tell you is how many of those were recovered via standard law enforcement practices and how many were actual citizen tips.

    How effective are Amber Alerts? : AskSocialScience
    Anyone wants to research this further, be my guest, but I tend to agree that this is mostly theater to dramatize a non-emergency situation. In any case, if it were my child that were missing, I'd want amber, gold and platinum alerts to be broadcast on cell phones, TV's and leaflets dropped by Amazon's delivery drones.
  7. jack58

    jack58 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Still sarcastic I see, but nowhere as bad as the post that was deleted yesterday. It is OK to have your say. It is also OK to disagree and I disagree and stand by everything I said.
    I had valid points too. And yes, I know how to turn it on and off and it is OFF.

    To respond to one of your comments:
    I've never had an issue with it. I've had the severe weather alerts go off when I'm in the middle of a zero-visibility storm on the highway and I didn't lose my focus. If you do, you shouldn't be driving.

    Obviously you don't drive on freeways! Because after being on freeways around here, I see accidents every time I go out. Road rage and bad drivers who cut in on you are everywhere. Over 75% of the cars tailgate, even in the rain. I see women putting on lipstick or eyeliner while driving in excess of 70 mph. I also see lots of people texting while driving... or looking at their phone reading messages, but that is OK, they must be checking the AMBER ALERT. We don't need a blaring Alert to cause more accidents.
  8. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert

    Do you have any empirical evidence about accidents caused by amber alerts?
  9. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    I doubt there ever would be such a statistic, just like there wouldn't be a statistic of accidents caused by texting your mother vs. texting a boyfriend or girlfriend. But, it would come under the broader heading of use of a smartphone while driving.

    Distracted Driving | Facts and Stats | Texting and Driving

    Let's look at some numbers for 2012. An estimated 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 people were injured in accidents involving distracted drivers. Now, think about it ... rush hour on any highway ... hundreds of cars travelling at high speeds in dense formations when all of a sudden 50% to 80% of them receive a loud distracting alert on their phone. First reaction for me would be to look at the phone and see what the emergency is (or just try and turn the damn thing off). Either way, my eyes are off the road as are all the other drivers. That is not a comforting thought for those of us who commute daily.

    If we could prevent 0.05% of those by simply disabling alerts when the phone is moving faster than 20 m.p.h. I'd be all for it.
    #9 lunatic59, Sep 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2015
    jack58 likes this.
  10. jack58

    jack58 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Nope, like Lunatic said:
    doubt there ever would be such a statistic, just like there wouldn't be a statistic of accidents caused by texting your mother vs. texting a boyfriend or girlfriend. But, it would come under the broader heading of use of a smartphone while driving.

    However, I did notice on the news the same day the AMBER ALERT hit the Tacoma area, there were a LOT of accidents that day, more than usual. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. It rained for the first time in awhile so that didn't help, but people tend to tailgate and if they were checking why there was a blaring cell phone at the time, if you were tailgating, in the rain/slick roads that split second checking can be a disaster. Tailgating is a major issue around here and I imagine everywhere.

    I still think the big electronic sign they use for AMBER ALERTS and ACCIDENT warning is good enough. They are so big and hang across the freeways, you can't miss them. So why AMBER ALERT on the cell phones? Common sense tells me to turn that ALERT off!

    Like I said earlier, I won't drive during rush hour, too many idiots tailgating and cutting in and out. I am self employed and can adjust my hours accordingly.
  11. jack58

    jack58 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    What I've been trying to say... you said much better! :D
    lunatic59 likes this.
  12. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    I think that the rain may be more of a factor causing crashes than the Amber alert. Up here in Vancouver, the first rain after a lengthy dry spell (or even a short one) generally results in more crashes.
  13. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    Weather is always a factor, but add distraction to less than perfect conditions and you have a recipe for disaster. Many times in the winter I am driving white knuckled 20 m.p.h under the limit because it's snowing heavily or icy and jokers on their cells are whizzing by me like a sunny summer afternoon. Then three or four miles down the road there's someone off the road in a ditch. It drive me nuts.
    jack58 likes this.
  14. huh

    huh Android Expert

    you know what freaks me out??? those run away truck uphill ramps they have all through the mountains....really??? as if I'm not terrified enough driving on narrow mountain roads...then you see a yellow caution sign showing a semi truck out of control pointing to a ramp on the side of the mountain that they are supposed to go up in case they lose breaks or going too fast or whatever....wait WHAT????:eek:eek:
  15. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique

    I have seen a truck back down from one before. Thankfully I didn't get to watch it flying down in my rear view mirrror! :eek:
  16. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert

    I love windy mountain roads. Especially when I had my firebird.
  17. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Extreme Android User

    I've often wondered how a semi with trailer and pup can manage the curves before the ramp. Monarch pass usually has 2 lanes for traffic going up, and one for down. I've had cars passing where allowed going downhill, and winding up in one of the uphill lanes.

    I've seen recent tire marks and the barrels knocked over, but never saw a truck in there.
  18. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert

    Yeah. So many drivers don't understand that they are supposed to adjust their driving according to conditions. The situation is really bad here in Metro Vancouver. We only get several snow days a year. Combine the little practice drivers here get driving in snow, add to that the hilly terrain, small snow clearing budgets and drivers that don't seem to care to drive according to conditions and you get a huge spike in collisions on snow days. The city practically shuts down because of snow.

    Back in 2010 during the Olympics, we had one of our warmest Februaries. People complained about the lack of snow. Well, I would say that if it did snow in Vancouver then, people would be complaining more as it travelling around would have been a nightmare.
  19. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert

    I thought all Canadians were adept snow drivers by default. Now you're telling me you don't even get much snow in Vancouver?

  20. nickdalzell

    nickdalzell Extreme Android User

    Some think Canada has mounties on horseback, moose, and that stereotypical 'eh?' Ending every sentence. Oddly enough you see none of the above in Quebec. Laughably, one gift shop there had a sign saying 'what I did NOT see or hear during my trip to Canada' referencing all of the above.
  21. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert

    I was told Canada has 10 months of winter and 2 months of crappy snowmobiling.
  22. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum

    You've been listening to your inner moose. ;)

    Can we please get this thread back on course, either by dogsled, snowmobile or runaway truck?
    Unforgiven and Slug like this.
  23. huh

    huh Android Expert

    Ok .. So when we first moved in.. Malcolm (my cat)decided to explore and take off for a few nights
    I freaked!!
    And put out an amber alert for him that bypasses the do not call list
    So... :)
    He came back on his own and he made some good friends with my neighbors
    But... Do not call list
    Omg I just lol at myself

    ps thanks to moody blues for being there for me when that happened
  24. bjacks12

    bjacks12 Android Expert

    Wait...the police actually sent the alert out for a cat?

    Pretty sure the DOJ would have an issue with that.
  25. huh

    huh Android Expert

    no..not the police..it's a lost pet service..they fax out fliers to vets animal control and rescues as well...it's free! you can pay a small fee and they will call every home within a 10?mile radius as well...even if your on the do not call list..it bypasses that..I don't know why..anywho...Malcolm came back on his own...but the service really works...I had so many people call..apparently there were quite a few black cats running around my area:) actually a few of my neighbors called and I'm SURE it was Malcolm they were seeing chasing chip munks in their yard...we had just moved in and I met a lot of my new neighbors because of that! haha! I also befriended an elderly woman who lives about 3 miles away who called to say she saw a black cat in her yard (Malcolm was home by then) but I could tell she was really lonely so we chatted for awhile...in fact, I continue to talk to her every now and then still!:)

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